Earlier this week, Tracie argued that Kanye's Twitter feed was out of control, and that he needed to be stopped. No way, man. Kanye's Twitter feed is awesome, and here's why:
The best part of Kanye's Twitter feed is that it plays out exactly as one would expect a Kanye parody feed to play out—it's ridiculous and SOMETIMES THERE ARE CAPS and he seems to be moving back and forth between statements on his personal growth (these are usually tagged with "ITSAPROCESS") while simultaneously reminding us that he's a big fan of fancy clothes, art, and, well, himself. Unlike certain celebrities, who shared previously-hidden sides of themselves on Twitter to the disappointment of some long-time fans, Kanye's Twitter feed gives us exactly what we'd expect from Kanye's Twitter feed, and perhaps some honest insight into how he's attempting to embrace his oft-mocked arrogance and tendency to live a bit extravagantly and present it as a celebration, something to both giggle at and admire (and in the case of much of the art he's showing, perhaps something to learn from) all while admitting on occasion that he's still trying to figure out how to do so without coming across as a total jerk. It is, as he notes, a process.
And yes, it's easy to roll one's eyes at tweets like "I love me," and "clothes are my drug," but why? If these things are true, should we expect him to present himself as anything else? The line between arrogance and confidence is often a bit tricky: in some ways, we're taught not to celebrate the things we love, especially if we love ourselves, because we'll be seen as "stuck up" and "bragging." Kanye seems to be aware of how he comes across, noting that Aziz Ansari's "predicting Kanye tweets" hits a little close to home: "It's so funny how Aziz's tweets really sound like me... am I that predictable?" He seems to be enjoying the attention and even enjoying, and being in on, the jokes, (some of our commenters think he's the best troll on Twitter, messing with everyone by playing up his public persona), because they are, in a way, celebrating what so many claim to dislike about Kanye: his arrogance, his tendency to appear a bit out of touch, and his overwhelming enthusiasm.
Sometimes it seems as if we don't know how to separate someone's excitement from someone's arrogance, to differentiate between being conceited and being proud: we want everyone to be on their best behavior, even if that behavior goes against the other person's real spirit. In a way, we expect artists like Kanye to keep it real by concealing their reality, editing it so it's acceptable for public consumption. And though he seems apologetic for his missteps in the past, the overwhelming tone of Kanye's Twitter feed is celebratory: he's being himself, and still figuring out who that self is, and he's having fun doing it.
And the truth is that we wouldn't want him any other way, and I think he knows it; as he told Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian in 2005: "How ill is it to have someone that talks that much shit and then backs it up? And what if I didn't back it up? How exciting would that be, also? It's like I'm walking on this tightrope. It's like the reason why you go to a circus - it's more entertaining. It's like, damn, what if he falls? And if I do make it, it's like, damn, he made it! But either way you're saying 'damn'. Everybody else is just walking on the ground." And if you don't like the show, you can always choose not to follow (though with retweeting and his popularity, it might be hard to avoid everything he says). But for those of us who enjoy the show, every day on Twitter has the possibility to "be a dope ass day."